ITSM practitioners and the need to improve skills

We have often discussed how technology and new frameworks have changed our service management practices and how we need to adopt and adapt them. Still as we know there is another key pillar: People.

People are often the last step in any improvement plan. Trainings are the first to be cut when we are running over a budget. Sometimes people even quit a job just because they are not given the right level of education.

I believe that now is the time to change that. For me, we as practitioners must be the ones who define a Vision for our skill development. The job is not easy, but the reward is big.

Let me give you a personal example. Back in 2010 I decided to change my career and pay from my own pocket to sit the ITIL Foundation certificate. Having taken the exam an opportunity came and I took it. Eight years later I am ITIL Expert and Instructor and I write blogs for AXELOS It is satisfying to see a vision come true – but it was the result of a commitment to my own development.

So how can you follow the same journey? For one thing, ITSM practitioners all need to read more. The number of topics to be aware in the current ITSM word is growing by the day: ITIL, Agile, COBIT, Lean, IT4IT, SIAM, VeriSM, etc. If you want to work in this business you need to have an idea about everything – that means reading, interpreting and adopting. Every framework can offer help in one way or another and practitioners need to work with several simultaneously to be effective.

Now the great thing about living in 2018 is that there are many ways to gain knowledge. There are online communities that can support you, so that you don’t feel alone on this hard trip. I personally use a lot of online resources to keep up with the current trends.

Developing your knowledge is great, but one also needs to develop also his/her soft skills. The more technology we use, the more we value the human contact.  Communication with colleagues or customers must be done in a professional way, but not without much-needed empathy.

In the ITSM industry, there is a growing need for skills in organizational change management (OCM), which focuses more on managing the people side of change. Learning about OCM has been one of the greatest benefits from studying ITIL Practitioner; it has reinforced the idea that just sending an email and calling it communication, or doing nothing at all, is not going to be enough to create successful change.

While new technologies and frameworks are, comparatively, easy to understand the biggest issues are often interpersonal. Poor communication and lack of common understanding often lead to issues, to delayed projects and bad quality. The good news is that these issues can be addressed through conscious development of your soft skills, in proper trainings or during community discussions. Don’t be afraid to ask, the world is big and help can come from many places.

This blog is written by a guest blogger and is not directly affiliated with the Learning Tree blogging program. 

Author: Nikola Gaydarov – Owner and Senior IT Service Management Consultant, Nigani Consulting

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